Much of Montrose was rocked last year when Leigh Boone, a 29-year-old vivacious executive assistant at the Houston Center for Photography, was killed when two fire trucks racing to a false alarm collided.
Boone was on the sidewalk, seemingly safe, but suffered fatal head injuries.
The city approved a $225,000 settlement with Boone's family today. It may not sound like much, but Texas law limits the amount that the city could be forced to pay to $250,000.
Donald Kidd, the family's attorney, tells Hair Balls that other results of the lawsuit are as important as the money. The fire department has changed, he said, a tradition of responding to fire calls in ways that endanger the public.
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"The written polices of the department are good," he says, "but the unwritten -- where there is competition amongst stations to be the first at the scene, puts citizens in jeopardy. It was that type of high school football mentality that needed to be addressed, and the only way the family could do that was though this claim."
Kidd says the city has "obviously recognized" that "racing to the scene" was not safe.
One of the fire trucks was speeding in the March 2009 incident; the other ran a red light.